Abdul Sattar Makandar was hired for a job driving trucks in Saudi Arabia through an agency based in Mumbai. However, Makandar's experience in Saudi Arabia has been far from pleasant.
In this video, Makandar makes a plea to Indian activist, Kundan Srivastava to help him come back to India.
Makandar complains that his employer in Saudi Arabia would not let him come home and that he had submitted papers asking for leave, five months ago, but to no avail. According to this BBC report, foreign workers cannot leave the country without the permission of their employers, under Saudi law — the system of Kafala.
Srivastava posted the video on Facebook:
Makandar's employer, Al Suroor United Group, however, denies Makandar's claims and says that it is standard practice for employees to be eligible to go home only after two years of service and that Makandar still had six weeks worth of service left, before he could be considered for the leave.
Makandar claims that he has been working overtime and that he was not being paid on time, Al Suroor group denied this claim too, according to the BBC report.
Makandar also claims that the employer had forced him to sign papers allowing the company to deduct 100 riyals from his salary each month.
Times of India reported that Makandar was jailed in Saudi Arabia after this video was released and that "his current status is unclear." Srivastava then took down the video and apologised to Al Suroor, “On the same day, I received an email from Abdul’s employer demanding the online video be removed, and a fresh video be posted featuring the driver stating that his firm was his saviour. We complied with all the demands hoping that Abdul will be released and will return to India soon,” he is quoted in The Hindu.
Published Date: Mar 21, 2016 19:23 PM | Updated Date: Mar 21, 2016 19:23 PM